AQP4 autoantibody assay performance in clinical laboratory service

J. P. Fryer, V. A. Lennon, S. J. Pittock, S. M. Jenkins, P. Fallier-Becker, S. L. Clardy, E. Horta, E. A. Jedynak, C. F. Lucchinetti, E. A. Shuster, B. G. Weinshenker, D. M. Wingerchuk, A. McKeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare performance of contemporary aquaporin-4-immunoglobulin (Ig) G assays in clinical service. Methods: Sera from neurologic patients (4 groups) and controls were tested initially by service ELISA (recombinant human aquaporin-4, M1 isoform) and then by cell-based fluorescence assays: fixed (CBA, M1-aquaporin-4, observer-scored) and live (fluorescence-activated cell sorting [FACS], M1 and M23 aquaporin-4 isoforms). Group 1: all Mayo Clinic patients tested from January to May 2012; group 2: consecutive aquaporin-4-IgG-positive patients from September 2011 (Mayo and non-Mayo); group 3: suspected ELISA false-negatives from 2011 to 2013 (physician-reported, high likelihood of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders [NMOSDs] clinically); group 4: suspected ELISA false-positives (physician-reported, not NMOSD clinically). Results: Group 1 (n 388): M1-FACS assay performed optimally (areas under the curves: M1 0.64; M23 0.57 [p 0.02]). Group 2 (n 30): NMOSD clinical diagnosis was confirmed by: M23-FACS, 24; M1-FACS, 23; M1-CBA, 20; and M1-ELISA, 18. Six results were suspected false-positive: M23-FACS, 2; M1-ELISA, 2; and M23-FACS, M1-FACS, and M1-CBA, 2. Group 3 (n 31, suspected M1-ELISA false-negatives): results were positive for 5 sera: M1-FACS, 5; M23-FACS, 3; and M1-CBA, 2. Group 4 (n 41, suspected M1-ELISA false-positives): all negative except 1 (positive only by M1-CBA). M1/M23-cotransfected cells expressing smaller membrane arrays of aquaporin-4 yielded fewer false- positive FACS results than M23-transfected cells. Conclusion: Aquaporin-4-transfected CBAs, particularly M1-FACS, perform optimally in aiding NMOSD serologic diagnosis. High-order arrays of M23-aquaporin-4 may yield false-positive results by binding IgG nonspecifically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
JournalNeurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 24 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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